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View Full Version : Re: Discover's incredible shrinking rebate


Bob Harvey
June 30th 03, 06:20 PM
"ares" > wrote in message >...
> Could you explain this a little more? I've had a Discover card for ages and
> you get the cash back on your purchases at what I thought was a fixed rate(I
> thought 1%). Then there's certain places that you can shop to get more than
> that rate? I thought those were just temporary bonuses or promotional
> discounts if you shop certain places. But also some places actually give
> you less than that rate now? I used to use Discover at Sam's because it was
> the only card they accepted anyway.
> ares


Here is the straight dope from Discover Card.
http://www.discovercard.com/discover/data/cashback/cashbackinfo.shtml

"For Cardmembers who participate in the Cashback Bonus® Program, the
award percentage applied to calculate the accrued Cashback Bonus award
on the total qualified purchases at the end of each billing period is
as follows:

* .25% (.0025), if the purchase is part of the first $1,500 in
purchases during the anniversary year, or, if the purchases are made
at select warehouse clubs or discount stores, and
* .50% (.0050), if the purchase is part of the second $1,500 in
purchases during the anniversary year, and
* 1.0% (.01), if the purchase is part of the purchases in excess
of $3,000 during the anniversary year

All purchases made at BJ's Wholesale Club, Costco and Sam's Club
including any purchases made at these warehouse clubs' Internet sites
and Wal-Mart (including any Wal-Mart Internet sites) will accumulate a
fixed rate of .25% (.0025). However, purchases made at gas stations at
these warehouse club and discount store locations will not be subject
to this fixed rate and will continue to accumulate a Cashback Bonus
award of up to 1% based on your annual level and type of purchases.

Please note: Costco has limited Discover Card acceptance.

See the Cashback Bonus Terms and Conditions for additional
information."


The consequences of this policy:

If you buy $3000 of stuff on a straight 1% card, you will get back %1
($30)
If you buy $3000 of stuff on a Discover card, you will get back at
most $11.25.

If you then buy an additional $3000 of stuff from Sam's Club or
Wal-Mart, you
will get 0.25% ($7.50) instead of the $30 you might expect.

The cash-back bonus award program was a way of "Doubling" whatever
bonus you've received (and steering you to participating vendors.)
Unfortunately the only vendors "doubling" your bonus are, in my
opinion, places that charge too much in the first place. I don't send
many "Lobstergrams" anyway.

When I shopped at Sam's I used the Discover Card because it was the
only card they accepted. 0.25% is better than nothing. When I go to
Wal-Mart I have a choice, so I use a straight 1% rebate card.

If stores passed along the actual cost of credit card transactions, I
would likely use cash. I think merchant agreements with the credit
card companies usually prevent them from doing that. They don't want
to turn down sales from people who finance purchases with a credit
card, so are willing to accept the restrictions in the agreement.

Anyhow, back to Discover Card. I had reasons to continue to use
discover card vs. a straight 1% Visa or Mastercard.

1) I can download transactions into Quicken. I like the online
statement as well.
2) Only card accepted at Sam's Club.
3) Increased reward at Borders book store.

I have stopped shopping at Sam's (not worth $30/yr to me), and the
Border's bonus has shrunk. Using the Discover card is costing at
least $18.75 a year compared to using the 1% rebate card.

Now today I find out my 1% rebate MC now has an online option. Since
there is no unique advantage to Discover card any more, and I prefer
to pay only one bill every month (in full of course :), I will be
putting the Discover card away.

Squeezing the most out of my credit card is kind of a hobby with me...
I encourage everyone to run the numbers, taking into account where
they shop, how much they spend each year, and what (if any) benefits
you'll use. Then make an informed decision on which card you should
use to maximize your benefit. Only takes a minute and you could end
up with a little extra cash in your pocket.


Bob Harvey

Steven Scharf
June 30th 03, 07:27 PM
(Bob Harvey) wrote in message >...
> Just a heads-up:
>
> As I'm sure you're all aware, Discover Card has a cash-back rebate
> with tiers up to 1% cash back. In addition, there are several
> merchants (Sam's club and Wal-Mart, for instance) that have special
> agreements with Discover to limit the cash back to 0.25% on purchases
> at these stores.

Costco dropped Discover a few years ago because of the shrinking
rebates. At first I was upset that they were moving to Amex, since
Amex is accepted at even fewer places than Discover (in the U.S.)
but at the time Discover had not yet made public the worsening of
their rebate. Once Costco dropped Discover, Discover lost a large
number of cardholders I'm sure.

With the Cosco Amex, you get a 1% flat rebate. With my Visa card
it's 1% flat, or a $500 airline ticket on any airline for 25,000
miles, I've found the latter a better deal as I tend to buy tickets
that are close to $500 most of the time.

Steven Scharf
June 30th 03, 07:27 PM
(Bob Harvey) wrote in message >...
> Just a heads-up:
>
> As I'm sure you're all aware, Discover Card has a cash-back rebate
> with tiers up to 1% cash back. In addition, there are several
> merchants (Sam's club and Wal-Mart, for instance) that have special
> agreements with Discover to limit the cash back to 0.25% on purchases
> at these stores.

Costco dropped Discover a few years ago because of the shrinking
rebates. At first I was upset that they were moving to Amex, since
Amex is accepted at even fewer places than Discover (in the U.S.)
but at the time Discover had not yet made public the worsening of
their rebate. Once Costco dropped Discover, Discover lost a large
number of cardholders I'm sure.

With the Cosco Amex, you get a 1% flat rebate. With my Visa card
it's 1% flat, or a $500 airline ticket on any airline for 25,000
miles, I've found the latter a better deal as I tend to buy tickets
that are close to $500 most of the time.

pete
July 9th 03, 04:54 PM
Bob,

You'd do a lot better with a different cash rebate card than the
Discover card you currently have. Check out
http://www.Credit-Reviews.com/rewards-credit-cards.html
for Cash Rebate credit card reviews.

The Discover card is a great card if you want to do balance transfers,
as Discover provides a 0% intro balance transfer APR for a period of
ONE YEAR. However, apart from that offer, Discover's cash rebate is
less than most of the other cards. A better cash rebate card would be
the American Express BlueCash card (pays 1.5% on everything -- 2.5% if
you carry a balance -- and up to 5% at specific stores). If you're
looking for a card that's more widely accepted than the AMEX card, you
should try the Chase
Stockback MasterCard or PerfectCard (this is a brand new card product
that pays 1% cash back and up to 6% cash back on gas).

Personally, I'm a big fan of the American Express BlueCash card. Most
places do accept it, and if they don't I just use my Chase card
instead. The AMEX not only pays a great cash back percentage, but if
you carry a balance they also have a pretty low ongoing APR of about
9.9% (and with a balance you get a larger cash back percentage).

Check out the http://www.Credit-Reviews.com site there for reviews of
these various cards.

Best,
Pete

(Bob Harvey) wrote in message >...
> "ares" > wrote in message >...
> > Could you explain this a little more? I've had a Discover card for ages and
> > you get the cash back on your purchases at what I thought was a fixed rate(I
> > thought 1%). Then there's certain places that you can shop to get more than
> > that rate? I thought those were just temporary bonuses or promotional
> > discounts if you shop certain places. But also some places actually give
> > you less than that rate now? I used to use Discover at Sam's because it was
> > the only card they accepted anyway.
> > ares
>
>
> Here is the straight dope from Discover Card.
> http://www.discovercard.com/discover/data/cashback/cashbackinfo.shtml
>
> "For Cardmembers who participate in the Cashback Bonus® Program, the
> award percentage applied to calculate the accrued Cashback Bonus award
> on the total qualified purchases at the end of each billing period is
> as follows:
>
> * .25% (.0025), if the purchase is part of the first $1,500 in
> purchases during the anniversary year, or, if the purchases are made
> at select warehouse clubs or discount stores, and
> * .50% (.0050), if the purchase is part of the second $1,500 in
> purchases during the anniversary year, and
> * 1.0% (.01), if the purchase is part of the purchases in excess
> of $3,000 during the anniversary year
>
> All purchases made at BJ's Wholesale Club, Costco and Sam's Club
> including any purchases made at these warehouse clubs' Internet sites
> and Wal-Mart (including any Wal-Mart Internet sites) will accumulate a
> fixed rate of .25% (.0025). However, purchases made at gas stations at
> these warehouse club and discount store locations will not be subject
> to this fixed rate and will continue to accumulate a Cashback Bonus
> award of up to 1% based on your annual level and type of purchases.
>
> Please note: Costco has limited Discover Card acceptance.
>
> See the Cashback Bonus Terms and Conditions for additional
> information."
>
>
> The consequences of this policy:
>
> If you buy $3000 of stuff on a straight 1% card, you will get back %1
> ($30)
> If you buy $3000 of stuff on a Discover card, you will get back at
> most $11.25.
>
> If you then buy an additional $3000 of stuff from Sam's Club or
> Wal-Mart, you
> will get 0.25% ($7.50) instead of the $30 you might expect.
>
> The cash-back bonus award program was a way of "Doubling" whatever
> bonus you've received (and steering you to participating vendors.)
> Unfortunately the only vendors "doubling" your bonus are, in my
> opinion, places that charge too much in the first place. I don't send
> many "Lobstergrams" anyway.
>
> When I shopped at Sam's I used the Discover Card because it was the
> only card they accepted. 0.25% is better than nothing. When I go to
> Wal-Mart I have a choice, so I use a straight 1% rebate card.
>
> If stores passed along the actual cost of credit card transactions, I
> would likely use cash. I think merchant agreements with the credit
> card companies usually prevent them from doing that. They don't want
> to turn down sales from people who finance purchases with a credit
> card, so are willing to accept the restrictions in the agreement.
>
> Anyhow, back to Discover Card. I had reasons to continue to use
> discover card vs. a straight 1% Visa or Mastercard.
>
> 1) I can download transactions into Quicken. I like the online
> statement as well.
> 2) Only card accepted at Sam's Club.
> 3) Increased reward at Borders book store.
>
> I have stopped shopping at Sam's (not worth $30/yr to me), and the
> Border's bonus has shrunk. Using the Discover card is costing at
> least $18.75 a year compared to using the 1% rebate card.
>
> Now today I find out my 1% rebate MC now has an online option. Since
> there is no unique advantage to Discover card any more, and I prefer
> to pay only one bill every month (in full of course :), I will be
> putting the Discover card away.
>
> Squeezing the most out of my credit card is kind of a hobby with me...
> I encourage everyone to run the numbers, taking into account where
> they shop, how much they spend each year, and what (if any) benefits
> you'll use. Then make an informed decision on which card you should
> use to maximize your benefit. Only takes a minute and you could end
> up with a little extra cash in your pocket.
>
>
> Bob Harvey

pete
July 9th 03, 04:54 PM
Bob,

You'd do a lot better with a different cash rebate card than the
Discover card you currently have. Check out
http://www.Credit-Reviews.com/rewards-credit-cards.html
for Cash Rebate credit card reviews.

The Discover card is a great card if you want to do balance transfers,
as Discover provides a 0% intro balance transfer APR for a period of
ONE YEAR. However, apart from that offer, Discover's cash rebate is
less than most of the other cards. A better cash rebate card would be
the American Express BlueCash card (pays 1.5% on everything -- 2.5% if
you carry a balance -- and up to 5% at specific stores). If you're
looking for a card that's more widely accepted than the AMEX card, you
should try the Chase
Stockback MasterCard or PerfectCard (this is a brand new card product
that pays 1% cash back and up to 6% cash back on gas).

Personally, I'm a big fan of the American Express BlueCash card. Most
places do accept it, and if they don't I just use my Chase card
instead. The AMEX not only pays a great cash back percentage, but if
you carry a balance they also have a pretty low ongoing APR of about
9.9% (and with a balance you get a larger cash back percentage).

Check out the http://www.Credit-Reviews.com site there for reviews of
these various cards.

Best,
Pete

(Bob Harvey) wrote in message >...
> "ares" > wrote in message >...
> > Could you explain this a little more? I've had a Discover card for ages and
> > you get the cash back on your purchases at what I thought was a fixed rate(I
> > thought 1%). Then there's certain places that you can shop to get more than
> > that rate? I thought those were just temporary bonuses or promotional
> > discounts if you shop certain places. But also some places actually give
> > you less than that rate now? I used to use Discover at Sam's because it was
> > the only card they accepted anyway.
> > ares
>
>
> Here is the straight dope from Discover Card.
> http://www.discovercard.com/discover/data/cashback/cashbackinfo.shtml
>
> "For Cardmembers who participate in the Cashback Bonus® Program, the
> award percentage applied to calculate the accrued Cashback Bonus award
> on the total qualified purchases at the end of each billing period is
> as follows:
>
> * .25% (.0025), if the purchase is part of the first $1,500 in
> purchases during the anniversary year, or, if the purchases are made
> at select warehouse clubs or discount stores, and
> * .50% (.0050), if the purchase is part of the second $1,500 in
> purchases during the anniversary year, and
> * 1.0% (.01), if the purchase is part of the purchases in excess
> of $3,000 during the anniversary year
>
> All purchases made at BJ's Wholesale Club, Costco and Sam's Club
> including any purchases made at these warehouse clubs' Internet sites
> and Wal-Mart (including any Wal-Mart Internet sites) will accumulate a
> fixed rate of .25% (.0025). However, purchases made at gas stations at
> these warehouse club and discount store locations will not be subject
> to this fixed rate and will continue to accumulate a Cashback Bonus
> award of up to 1% based on your annual level and type of purchases.
>
> Please note: Costco has limited Discover Card acceptance.
>
> See the Cashback Bonus Terms and Conditions for additional
> information."
>
>
> The consequences of this policy:
>
> If you buy $3000 of stuff on a straight 1% card, you will get back %1
> ($30)
> If you buy $3000 of stuff on a Discover card, you will get back at
> most $11.25.
>
> If you then buy an additional $3000 of stuff from Sam's Club or
> Wal-Mart, you
> will get 0.25% ($7.50) instead of the $30 you might expect.
>
> The cash-back bonus award program was a way of "Doubling" whatever
> bonus you've received (and steering you to participating vendors.)
> Unfortunately the only vendors "doubling" your bonus are, in my
> opinion, places that charge too much in the first place. I don't send
> many "Lobstergrams" anyway.
>
> When I shopped at Sam's I used the Discover Card because it was the
> only card they accepted. 0.25% is better than nothing. When I go to
> Wal-Mart I have a choice, so I use a straight 1% rebate card.
>
> If stores passed along the actual cost of credit card transactions, I
> would likely use cash. I think merchant agreements with the credit
> card companies usually prevent them from doing that. They don't want
> to turn down sales from people who finance purchases with a credit
> card, so are willing to accept the restrictions in the agreement.
>
> Anyhow, back to Discover Card. I had reasons to continue to use
> discover card vs. a straight 1% Visa or Mastercard.
>
> 1) I can download transactions into Quicken. I like the online
> statement as well.
> 2) Only card accepted at Sam's Club.
> 3) Increased reward at Borders book store.
>
> I have stopped shopping at Sam's (not worth $30/yr to me), and the
> Border's bonus has shrunk. Using the Discover card is costing at
> least $18.75 a year compared to using the 1% rebate card.
>
> Now today I find out my 1% rebate MC now has an online option. Since
> there is no unique advantage to Discover card any more, and I prefer
> to pay only one bill every month (in full of course :), I will be
> putting the Discover card away.
>
> Squeezing the most out of my credit card is kind of a hobby with me...
> I encourage everyone to run the numbers, taking into account where
> they shop, how much they spend each year, and what (if any) benefits
> you'll use. Then make an informed decision on which card you should
> use to maximize your benefit. Only takes a minute and you could end
> up with a little extra cash in your pocket.
>
>
> Bob Harvey

pete
July 9th 03, 04:57 PM
Ares,

You'd do a lot better with a different cash rebate card than the
Discover card you currently have. Check out
http://www.Credit-Reviews.com/rewards-credit-cards.html
for Cash Rebate credit card reviews.

The Discover card is a great card if you want to do balance transfers,
as Discover provides a 0% intro balance transfer APR for a period of
ONE YEAR. However, apart from that offer, Discover's cash rebate is
less than most of the other cards. A better cash rebate card would be
the American Express BlueCash card (pays 1.5% on everything -- 2.5% if
you carry a balance -- and up to 5% at specific stores). If you're
looking for a card that's more widely accepted than the AMEX card, you
should try the Chase
Stockback MasterCard or PerfectCard (this is a brand new card product
that pays 1% cash back and up to 6% cash back on gas).

Personally, I'm a big fan of the American Express BlueCash card. Most
places do accept it, and if they don't I just use my Chase card
instead. The AMEX not only pays a great cash back percentage, but if
you carry a balance they also have a pretty low ongoing APR of about
9.9% (and with a balance you get a larger cash back percentage).

Check out the http://www.Credit-Reviews.com site there for reviews of
these various cards.

Best,
Pete


"ares" > wrote in message >...
> Could you explain this a little more? I've had a Discover card for ages and
> you get the cash back on your purchases at what I thought was a fixed rate(I
> thought 1%). Then there's certain places that you can shop to get more than
> that rate? I thought those were just temporary bonuses or promotional
> discounts if you shop certain places. But also some places actually give
> you less than that rate now? I used to use Discover at Sam's because it was
> the only card they accepted anyway.
> ares
>
> "Bob Harvey" > wrote in message
> om...
> > Just a heads-up:
> >
> > As I'm sure you're all aware, Discover Card has a cash-back rebate
> > with tiers up to 1% cash back. In addition, there are several
> > merchants (Sam's club and Wal-Mart, for instance) that have special
> > agreements with Discover to limit the cash back to 0.25% on purchases
> > at these stores.
> >
> > One options for increasing the value of your rebate is gift
> > certificates; $20 in Discover rebate will buy a $40 gift certificate,
> > raising your total rebate value from somewhat less than 1% to somewhat
> > less than 2%. However, the only merchant I'm interested in is Borders
> > (book and music store). They have lowered the value of their gift
> > certificate to $25. So, my $140 worth of Discover bux has reduced in
> > value from $280 to $175. Ouch!! I shouldn't have waited so long to
> > redeem them.
> >
> > 25% free beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick-- but-- cash is
> > the Universal gift certificate. A dollar in your pocket today may be
> > worth more than a gift card for $1.25 that is only useful at one
> > store.
> >
> > Now here's where it gets interesting. On the website Discover asks
> > customers to submit stories of how super and wonderful the shopping
> > partner rebate program is. I made a sarcastic submission about how
> > nice it used to be, and how it hardly seemed worth it now. I received
> > a voicemail from a lady reading from a card the next day... the gist
> > of which is Borders was the first, other partners will be reducing
> > their benefit soon.
> >
> > So, if you take advantage of other vendor's offers on the program,
> > might want to go ahead and cash in your rebate now.

pete
July 9th 03, 04:57 PM
Ares,

You'd do a lot better with a different cash rebate card than the
Discover card you currently have. Check out
http://www.Credit-Reviews.com/rewards-credit-cards.html
for Cash Rebate credit card reviews.

The Discover card is a great card if you want to do balance transfers,
as Discover provides a 0% intro balance transfer APR for a period of
ONE YEAR. However, apart from that offer, Discover's cash rebate is
less than most of the other cards. A better cash rebate card would be
the American Express BlueCash card (pays 1.5% on everything -- 2.5% if
you carry a balance -- and up to 5% at specific stores). If you're
looking for a card that's more widely accepted than the AMEX card, you
should try the Chase
Stockback MasterCard or PerfectCard (this is a brand new card product
that pays 1% cash back and up to 6% cash back on gas).

Personally, I'm a big fan of the American Express BlueCash card. Most
places do accept it, and if they don't I just use my Chase card
instead. The AMEX not only pays a great cash back percentage, but if
you carry a balance they also have a pretty low ongoing APR of about
9.9% (and with a balance you get a larger cash back percentage).

Check out the http://www.Credit-Reviews.com site there for reviews of
these various cards.

Best,
Pete


"ares" > wrote in message >...
> Could you explain this a little more? I've had a Discover card for ages and
> you get the cash back on your purchases at what I thought was a fixed rate(I
> thought 1%). Then there's certain places that you can shop to get more than
> that rate? I thought those were just temporary bonuses or promotional
> discounts if you shop certain places. But also some places actually give
> you less than that rate now? I used to use Discover at Sam's because it was
> the only card they accepted anyway.
> ares
>
> "Bob Harvey" > wrote in message
> om...
> > Just a heads-up:
> >
> > As I'm sure you're all aware, Discover Card has a cash-back rebate
> > with tiers up to 1% cash back. In addition, there are several
> > merchants (Sam's club and Wal-Mart, for instance) that have special
> > agreements with Discover to limit the cash back to 0.25% on purchases
> > at these stores.
> >
> > One options for increasing the value of your rebate is gift
> > certificates; $20 in Discover rebate will buy a $40 gift certificate,
> > raising your total rebate value from somewhat less than 1% to somewhat
> > less than 2%. However, the only merchant I'm interested in is Borders
> > (book and music store). They have lowered the value of their gift
> > certificate to $25. So, my $140 worth of Discover bux has reduced in
> > value from $280 to $175. Ouch!! I shouldn't have waited so long to
> > redeem them.
> >
> > 25% free beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick-- but-- cash is
> > the Universal gift certificate. A dollar in your pocket today may be
> > worth more than a gift card for $1.25 that is only useful at one
> > store.
> >
> > Now here's where it gets interesting. On the website Discover asks
> > customers to submit stories of how super and wonderful the shopping
> > partner rebate program is. I made a sarcastic submission about how
> > nice it used to be, and how it hardly seemed worth it now. I received
> > a voicemail from a lady reading from a card the next day... the gist
> > of which is Borders was the first, other partners will be reducing
> > their benefit soon.
> >
> > So, if you take advantage of other vendor's offers on the program,
> > might want to go ahead and cash in your rebate now.

Don K
July 10th 03, 12:21 AM
"pete" > wrote in message
om...
> Bob,
>
> You'd do a lot better with a different cash rebate card than the
> Discover card you currently have. Check out
> http://www.Credit-Reviews.com/rewards-credit-cards.html
> for Cash Rebate credit card reviews.

My wife has a AAA VISA card that pays 5% back on all gas
purchases. I borrow her card when I fill up the tank. :-)

I don't think it's mentioned at the above site. AFAIK, it's
an on-going program and doesn't have a time-limit.

Don

Don K
July 10th 03, 12:21 AM
"pete" > wrote in message
om...
> Bob,
>
> You'd do a lot better with a different cash rebate card than the
> Discover card you currently have. Check out
> http://www.Credit-Reviews.com/rewards-credit-cards.html
> for Cash Rebate credit card reviews.

My wife has a AAA VISA card that pays 5% back on all gas
purchases. I borrow her card when I fill up the tank. :-)

I don't think it's mentioned at the above site. AFAIK, it's
an on-going program and doesn't have a time-limit.

Don

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